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Stoke Gay Pride event celebrates its fifth birthday
Revellers at Stoke Pride 2010
Revellers celebrated five years of Stoke Pride

Staffordshire's biggest lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans event, Stoke Pride, has celebrated its fifth birthday.

Thousands of people joined in the celebrations at Stoke-on-Trent's Northwood Park on Saturday, 14 August.

This annual event is now turning into one of Staffordshire's biggest outdoor parties of the calendar.

But many revellers insist that Stoke Pride remains a more intimate experience than that of the mega-Prides in Manchester, Brighton and London.

Two organisers of the event, Aaron Cogle and Andy Murphy, agree that it has a different feel to other Pride festivals.

Aaron Cogle told BBC Radio Stoke: "I think that in Stoke we offer a far more intimate experience. We only have about five thousand people that attend."

Humble beginnings

The event started from humble beginnings. A quiet street in Hanley and a makeshift stage was all the organisers could put together with their limited resources.

"We started out in 2006 on a rainy car park in Hillcrest Street with maybe a thousand dedicated attendees and a stage on the back of a truck," admitted Aaron.

"And the small amount of money that we had to stage that event was raised from local community members and some benevolent businesses and organisations.

Revellers at Stoke Pride 2010
This year's Stoke Pride was the biggest in its history

"And it was a great day but I don't think we could have predicted how much success we'd have."

Soaking up the atmosphere

Fortunately, this year the weather defied the recent downpours and over 5,000 visitors soaked up the sunshine.

A rich variety of singers and dancers performed across two stages while street performers and face painters mingled among the crowds.

This was only the second time that Stoke Pride had been held at Northwood Park, but, organisers say, if this experience is anything to go by, it just might become its permanent home.

In pictures: Stoke Pride 2010
16 Aug 10 |  Arts & Culture



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